I had one of the oddest voiceover experiences ever earlier this week.
One of the sheer pleasures of my work as a voice talent is that I get to work with some of the most creative people in the world. I rub headphones with the most awesome clients, the most creative writers, the most inspiring voices, and the most amazing engineers in the world (how’s that for the most grammar abuse?).
It’s an unbelievable gift. I treasure it more than I could ever express. But earlier this week I had an experience I have never had before, and hope I never have again…although it was sorta funny.
For obvious reasons I am not going to name the client or anyone else connected to the VO session.
I got a call from a new client asking if I would be willing to voice a commercial for their product. Well, of course I would!
It was a conversation with Santa. I’m not going to even tell you what it was about. But Santa…was drunk.
To use a phrase from a few decades ago, “I kid you not!”
I don’t mean the written character. I mean the voice talent was lit up! Tight! Schnockered!
Now, I have just enough of an ornery streak in me (I got it from my hero, my father) that I couldn’t leave well enough alone. One of my lines was to ask Santa why he was so jolly. So as we were reading through a take of the read, I tossed that line out…in Spanish.
It didn’t phase him a bit. He continued on with some semblance of his line. I’m pretty sure I heard the engineer snort coffee everywhere.
The producer was not happy with Santa’s delivery, as if that were any surprise. So he tried to offer some insight to the style of delivery he was looking for.
And then it happened.
Santa got into an heated argument with the producer about whether Santa would say something that was in the script!
WHAT??? Are you kidding me? I was laughing so hard the engineer had to mute me!
Well, we finally got through the session. I doubt that Santa will ever work for this client again.
After the session the producer called me. I’m not sure why. But as soon as I heard his voice I started laughing again.
“Oh good!” he said. “I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t out of line on this one!”
That made laugh even harder.
Here’s the moral of the story: If you’re a professional voice talent, there are 3 things your client is looking for from you: